Editorial: Gov. opens Valhalla’s doorsGov. Dennis Daugaard — in striking contrast to his predecessors — has crafted a new management plan for Valhalla, a historic cabin in Custer State Park.
By: Editorial board, Rapid City Journal
Gov. Dennis Daugaard — in striking contrast to his predecessors — has crafted a new management plan for Valhalla, a historic cabin in Custer State Park.
For the first time in years, Valhalla will be opened up for scheduled public tours. The cabin also will be available for rent to the public on a limited basis.
When the governor uses it, he and his guests will pay the same rate as anyone else: $200 per day.
In another departure from previous practices, the cabin will be closed during the winter to cut costs.
We applaud Daugaard’s recognition that Valhalla, built in the late 1920s by U.S. Sen. Peter Norbeck and his wife, is managed and maintained with public tax dollars, and therefore should be made available for some public viewing and use. ...
The governor opted not to make the cabin available for overnight rentals to the public, only because that would require costly upgrades that could compromise the historic integrity of the building. The governor’s effort to “strike a good balance” does just that.
For years, Valhalla has been used as a private retreat for governors and their guests.
Former Gov. Mike Rounds carried on that tradition and refused to disclose the names of people who stayed there.
In another departure from Rounds’ practices, Daugaard also plans to release a partial list of guests for the Governor’s Golf Classic, the Governor’s Pheasant Hunt and the Buffalo Roundup. Confidential business prospects won’t be revealed.
While that’s less than ideal, considering most business prospects are likely to request privacy, the list made public is expected to disclose in-state guests invited to welcome outside business prospects to South Dakota.
That’s better than nothing. ...